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Fynn Relmis

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  1. It's all very high tech these days... (wait, am I old?)
  2. "Your presence is requested on the Imperial Balcony..." the sith guard said curtly. The masked figures' voice was familiar to M'ruka, and there was something odd in the humans' presence. Still M'ruka regarded him as just another of Morrigal's thugs. "We shall remain here." "I'm ordered to see you there, by any means. Resistance will bring pain for you and the child." The guard said without empathy. M'ruka looked over to the young half-Keshiri half human girl. The servants in the palace had taken to calling the girl 'halfling' and 'Dark princess'. Some revered her as a child of the gods'. Other were clear that she was to be feared as Kern was. As the man beckoned, M'ruka reluctantly gathered her up, and followed the command. Two other Sith guards flanked them as they exited the posh quarters reserved for her. "What is happening?" M'ruka asked the child cried in her arms. "Just keep moving." The lead Sith guard said, his shiny armor glittering in the light of the morning sun that poured through the palaces now open windows. Down every corridor, servants and slaves tended to the place, moving aside as they came by. Finally they exited to a large palatial balcony, where Morrigal stood flanked by soldiers and Keshiri servants in the morning sun. In the courtyard below hundreds of Keshiri were assembled. All of them stood at attention. Morrigal was dressed in an immaculate red and black gown, her face covered in a traditional Sith witch pattern, and upon her head, a small black crown... a new addition. Morrigal was speaking to them... and M'ruka could only hear the last few words. "-a new order in which only the strong survive. There is no room for the weak, or the compromised. Today we throw of the vestiges of the past, and begin a new world." "Morrigal... you witch, what are you doing?" M'ruka spit as she was shoved nearer to her. "Oh, you don't know? I was made ruler this morning. The people have decided that Kern has abandoned them, the major chieftains' have thrown their support to me, as the natural successor. There were a few votes for Aldra, you should know." Morrigal said sounding almost surprised. "I heard several months ago. But I'd hoped they were rumors. It was you who killed our first child...wasn't it." M'ruka said baring her teeth. "Kern will have your head for this." She looked down seeing the assembled crowds were the prominent chieftains and families that Kern had spared on his march to conquer the planet. Many had sworn to follow him, others we defeated and hidden away for the right moment. They all cried out for blood as Morrigal raised her voice addressing them all. "Your bastard children were a menace to his rule, I did what was needed, wether he sanctioned it or not. Now, Kern is dead. He died trying to kill his old master. The fool attacked Coruscant, and left you and your child to the wolves." Morrigal said succinctly. "What happens today was destined since he first arrived here. If you wish to pray to him now... I will understand." Morrigal said almost admiringly. A moment past, and M'ruka closed her eyes as she felt a pang of distress and anguish. "Take the girl." Morrigal barked without sympathy. The Sith guard snatched the child from M'ruka, who screamed as she was restrained by two other guards. Morrigal gave the order. "I take little pleasure in this. But Kesh cannot have two leaders...Do it." The guard placed the young child on a marble altar, and it began to cry out of the reach of it's mother. The guard looked at the child, pausing just a moment to take in her tender features. She had green hair and pale green eyes like her mother, but her skin was lighter, her lips and cheeks spoke to Kern and human lineage. It was then that a cry was heard from the wall behind the assembled crowd. "Open the gate!" rang out from a sentry on top the stone Palisade. Below him the streets of the capital of Kesh were filled with Keshiri all struggling to get a view of the procession. Hundreds of Keshiri footmen, with a their tribal war paint, and newly minted armor from the local factories parted the crowd as they came forward. Immediately their purpose was clear... to end the rebellion. The first blows were struck as the chieftain's saw their demise was near. Morrigal turned, looking down upon the approaching crowd. "No... it's not possible-" Morrigal said as she looked about in a panic. "Then you are even more the fool." Kern said loudly, as he removed the shiny Sith helmet to reveal himself next to the small child. His scared and battered face was instantly recognized. The Sith guards didn't raise their weapons, in a moment Kern had pulled them from their grasp, a moment later two Keshiri loyal to Morrigal charged him from Morrigal's position were lifted from their feet, twisting in agony as Kern held them. "There have always been those who doubted me-" Kern said as he snapped the necks of the Keshiri brutes and dropped them. He moved towards Morrigal methodically. She pulled a blaster from another Keshiri who was frozen in fear. "Kill them!" she ordered, firing a single bolt at Kern. The blast missed, as Kern withdrew a long metal blade with a jagged edge and a solid black squarish hilt. The pummel was that of a Keshiri symbol for death. The blade itself sung as he slid it gracefully through the air and it dispatched two other Keshiri guards by slicing thier sword arms clean off. The final pair of Sith guards, saw the blade, and immediately surrendered. It was clear that the Sith guards knew exactly who was now in charge. "Most of them are dust, and others soon will be. When I forge a new weapon from your bones... I shall call it Usurper's Bane. Made especially for all like you... who plot and scheme in foul corners to take what is rightfully mine. I must thank you Morrigal, gathering all those who are disloyal in one place for disposal was helpful." The throng below began to panic, as they could not retreat, and there was no clear way out. "Kern... You were dead... I saw the reports. Kesh was-" Morrigal sputtered. "-Never yours to rule. I conquered this planet for the Sith Empire years ago... not for you to create a petty queendom." The red blade swung wildly, and another guards head was cleaved from a neck and shoulders, and went flying into the crowd below. M'ruka retrieved her child as Kern dispatched the last disloyal Keshiri guard with haste. In the courtyard below, the gate opened, and a slaughter commenced, the rebellious and treasonous chieftan's were caught off-guard, and Kern loyalists began to dispatch them in haste. The fervor of his troops was unmatched, and blood and viscera poured out as the purge continued. Morrigal refused to beg, quickly falling to her knees. Do what you must-" The woman spat in his face, as she was restrained by Kern's outstretched hand, the force removing any agency for her escape. "I'm not killing you," Kern said as he approached with M'ruka flanking him. The large red blade humming along to the violence and death and blood curdling screams. "Death is too easy, instead you will serve-" Kern continued, but his words were cut short, He had not anticipated the agency of M'ruka, whose rage and anger he felt radiating outward. M'ruka rushed forward, small knife in one hand, and child in the other, Morrigal had just enough time to see the blade flash in the sun and dive into her stomach. M'ruka looked into her eyes as the light faded, and struck a second and third blow, finishing the devestation to the witches body as Kern stood sternly over them both. Morrigal's last words were muffled by the sound of choking on her own blood. "Kern... I-" M'ruka turned back to him, withdrawing the knife from the dead woman. Kern grabbed the small knife and too her in his arms. He had meant to torture the woman for days, but as death took Morrigal, still he enjoyed the shock of it. M'ruka sobbed, happy to be reunited with him. "You wanted vengeance, and you took it. Do not show weakness and ask for forgiveness. Embrace the life you took, there is power in it." Kern said with a gentle nod. He motioned for the loyal sith guards to escort her and the child to safety. Below the blood letting continued, as Kern looked on. "Leave me, I will join you when this is over." Kern said eagerly taking in the massacre below. "No... I wish to watch." M'ruka said brutally, clearing a tear as the carnage below continued. Kern nodded and allowed it, realizing that this was a moment she had longed for, more than him even. --- The day had been eventful, as the bodies of dead Keshiri were carted away, and Kern swept the last vestiges of Morrigal from the palace. New chieftains were chosen, and whole tribes were ended by his orders. The reigns of power so long from his grasp felt good and whole again in his possession. His child was exactly as he pictured... her future yet to be written. Immediately he could sense that she too would be strong in the force, and that meant she would one day be a threat. He reveled in that day. To be challenged by ones own blood... nothing could be more important. For now he would see to it that she was schooled in the Darkside, to be raised to be a proper ally and possible successor if that was to be her destiny. His dictates to his daughters education were clear and unwavering. He looked upon the mirror on the wall, made from a shimmering alloy mined from deep within the nearby mountains. His face was more ashen and pale then in times past, his face still bore a long thin scar that refused to heal. His greying hair was nearly gone, and the wrinkles of stress and rage were prominent. With his shirt off for treatement, he could see the scars leading to his stump on his missing limb. the spider like veins that approached the edges bore dark burnt blood, frozen in veins from the shock of injury. He shook his head as thought of what he would do to Skye and others in the battles yet to come. He would repay his old master, eventually. Now in his inner sanctum, a room deep within the palace, he tinkered with a new saber with his good arm, while a replacement for his missing limb was fashioned by medical droids. The new blade would be more stable then the Krayt blade, and more precise then his original saber. He paused a moment to muse about who might possess the weapon now. Perhaps some random junk trader, or some foolish young Jedi hopeful. It didn't matter, sabers didn't make one strong, they did not win battles. M'ruka lay in the large fur-lined bed having been thoroughly loyal even unto death if need be. His soldiers too had remembered him. While some of the civilians were worthless, his soldiers remembered their commander, their general, their god, even in his absence. It was disloyalty that threatened his power, it was treachery that nearly robbed him of his rightful place. He realized that rushing off to Coruscant was a mistake, a mistake he nearly paid for with his life. His strength came from the will of armies, not the simple power of his own making. He twisted the last few pieces into position, placing his hate, his will, his passion for war and death squarely in the small fragment of synthetic crystal that he'd kept in his personal vault for safekeeping. He'd had trouble concentrating at first with a single arm, but concentration on his goal, on his raging hate had made the task simpler. The feelings of rage were like a fine scalpel, giving him endless endurance to continue on for hour upon hour, and now the final piece slid into place. He snapped the blade to life with simple gesture, and then felt it's balance to be sure of it's effectiveness. The droids concluded their work, attaching the new limb of blackened de-polarized durasteel and synthetic nerve endings. Standing he took several swings, pushing himself to strike through a nearby table that fell apart in a shower of sparks. He smiled, even though it caused him slight pain, "Excellent... most excellent." He said to himself. "You're leaving again... aren't you?" M'ruka said now standing and watching him. "Yes. My destiny-" "-I know. I'm just so tired of destiny... it just means I cannot hope for you to remain with me." M'ruka said her eyes falling to the blade. "I will return, this is my home. It is where I found true power, and where you and my child live. I won't forget you, I vow this you." Kern said clearly, approaching her and draping her form with the robe he'd worn to bed. "But when you are gone-" M'ruka turned to the side, her eye falling on the child who was sleeping in a separate room with a clear glass wall partition. "She needs her father." "She needs food, shelter, knowledge, If I remain she will resent me, and it will stunt her development. If she is to be strong, merciless, powerful... then she must be robbed of me... as you have been. Pain, Loss, absence these things are what move us to be more then we are. I will not coddle my offspring to be a mewling babe." Kern said looking at the child that was close and yet so far. "She will grow far stronger in my absence, and when she is grown, I will be waiting." Kern turned aside and placed the weapon on a nearby stable. "In the meantime, good news. You will rule Kesh... as my regent. Your will will be law." Kern turned back to her as she approached incredulously. "I don't want to rule, I just want you to remain-" M'ruka said mournfully. Realizing that her begging was meeting a wall. "Do not mistake me for your fool or puppet M'ruka. That was Morrigal's undoing. I must fulfill my path, and it does not lie here. My ambitions are more then this mere speck." Kern said sternly, turning cold and hard as quickly as the blade cut off in his hands. "When I found you, you were seen as nothing, you were destined to die of starvation, but you proved yourself many times over to be loyal and true, and now you rule a planet, but you were always strong...it is a funny universe, for now you will rule the Keshiri." Kern said as she dropped to her knees as she accepted the honor. "Where- where will you go?" M'ruka asked meekly, her voice breaking slightly on seeing him prepare himself. "Onderon, to join my brothers. Then who knows? War is a unpredictable." Kern said slyly and without concern. He laid a kiss on her forhead along with a gentle hug from his good arm, then turned to leave the room. "All hail the Queen Regent." He said over his shoulder to the two sith guards at the entrance, then cackled to himself at the irony as he continued down the hall.
  3. Shadows... voices... screams... pain. She had the dream again. Her master was not well. He screamed over and over in rage. His eyes issued forth fire and flame. He seethed on his throne in front of her, restrained in the darkness by something that couldn't be seen. Some bright chain that held him from her... he strained to rise, but always was he pulled back. "Liars... traitors... thieves!" Came his voice, dark and horrible and enraged. "Took what was mine and defile it with your hands... the blade was mine... always mine! You are unworthy! I will remove you from this world. I will crush your hope... I will burn you to ash and dance in the remains!" M'ruka heard him cry. "Kern... who... please tell me who?" M'ruka begged, unable to approach lest she be consumed. Kern did not reply... he simply continued to scream and rage. --- She awoke to hear the guards in the palace running to a disturbance at the front gate of the massive palace built to honor her long absent master. Outside, a storm raged, it was not an uncommon occurrence in this the small capital city of a world pulled from "the dirt" as Kern had put it. Her master had arrived on a world that was a backwater, a ball of dust and blood, where the locals had no technology, nothing but crude weapons and brutal tribal warfare. In short order he had abolished their old world, and ushered in his order. As a God, he did what he wished, striding the planet to pacify it. No resistance was tolerated, no rebellion unanswered with crushing force. Kern put down any who opposed him with brutal efficacy. Those who served him, and did his will prospered, those who opposed were vanquished... slowly and painfully. Sith god's were prayed too as well, Exodus, Faust, Ryu, names that were beaten into the minds of the younger generations as befitting veneration. Kern was a member of this grand order, M'ruka loved him desperately and still found herself wishing that he could have remained forever, but dreams do not last forever. Then, at the height of his power. He vanished. His power was still held in check by his acolytes. His high priestess Morrigal kept his name in the rituals, his soldiers still held sway over the planet. But rumors had started, the talk of his demise was not unheard. One or two pretenders had tried unsuccessfully to reclaim the planet, but Kern's influence was felt from afar. Had he been killed by his lust for vengeance some felt, others that he had other planets to tame and conquer. Some even questioned his godhood. What would happen to the planet if he remained away much longer? Morrigal had seen fit to keep her as a symbol of Kern's power. In truth however, she was paramount in her position. M'ruka felt she was more prisoner then ever before, and the child....Her child Aldra had been born a few months after he had left. The girl was small, but every bit the image of her father. The childs' bed across the grand residence was quiet, as the child slept in the comfort of many furs. M'ruka approached the small bed, and smiled lovingly at the child. "He will return, I know he will. Your father will return. Those who seek to thwart him will fail. I know it." --- "This is the freighter Halcyon II, on descent to Kesh. Respond Station 1?" The captain of the large freighter running illegal frieght to the small Sith outpost, asked calmly. On his screen a storm flashed in a vibrant display. The large Corellian blockade runner swooped low over the mountain ranges that ringed the capital city, surrounded now by industrial farms and factories, where the populace had only been living in thatched huts, large metal buildings and modern streets had emerged from the muck. Still the planet was not remarkable, no one came to Kesh that didn't know of it from the Sith archives, it was not a vacation spot. "Halcyon II acknowledged, stick to established landing route. Enter passcode." "Confirmed. Pass Code Kern-sigma-one-Faust." The co-pilot nodded to the captain, "I better go check the straps, that storm looks nasty." "Hurry, I don't want to be here long, this place gives me the creeps." The captain said back. The hold was full of containers from various underground suppliers to Sith forces across the uncharted regions. Careful to cover their tracks with blind jumps and jumbled transponders, freighters and smugglers made a pretty penny by supplying dormant places with the supplies they needed. This run was routine, save for the odd passenger from time to time. "Got a storm, might want to strap in." the co-pilot advised to the three passengers. Two of them obeyed immediately. The third was covered in a dark robe, only his heavy boots, and thick armored gloves remained without shroud. The figure in a dark robe said nothing at first, then moved to strap himself in as advised. Only one hand moved to obey the request, the other remained un-moved. "You uh... never mentioned payment." The co-pilot continued. "You will receive payment in full on arrival. Your assistance has been vital. Your pay will be considerable, trust me, I repay my debts." The man said with a simple quick statement. "Hey, you're the boss chief, why would you want to go to Kesh anyhow? Place is a mess if you ask me. Looks like some long gone Sith conquered it years ago. Ain't much here except a couple of training bases and some factories. Couple of nice statues...but otherwise unremarkable." The man said checking a random gauge at a nearby panel. "I have... unfinished business. Besides, aren't most places worthless balls of blood and dust?" The pilot nodded, and headed back to the small bridge. Looks are often deceiving... whole empires rise from the dust, as will I. He said to himself. He had almost nothing. Kesh was no longer truly his. It would have to be reclaimed. RelmCorp had folded, it's assets frozen. His estate on Corellia had been seized, his legacy further tarnished. No fortune, no weapons, no power save for the force that still animated him. The challenge was daunting, but his will was equal to the task. One thing he had learned in his time away was patience, cold calculating patience. Kern said sternly as he reached out with his gloved hand to adjust his cowl, as the ship hurdled towards his old home. So much had happened here... so much was about to.
  4. The shelter was little more than a hovel, Kern noted as he sat, dressing what wounds he could. It was the collapsed portion of what appeared to be a nursery school. Here and there were broken cribs, their shadows reflecting bar shaped patterns of shadows around as Alabast's fire burned in a ramshackled hutch at the far end of the room. The comm line was dead, but true to his word, the man had shelter, and even some food. Its quality was questionable, but Kern's hunger quickly overcame any sense of its dusty taste. He suspiciously regarded the water, but drank anyways, deciding that Alabast had no reason to poison him at least for the moment. He’d found an armature for an old medical droid, and using the lightsaber he did his best to fashioned a temporary replacement arm. He worked the metal with the force, shaping it to fit the vision in his mind. “What kind of name is Kern anyways?” Alabast said scratching words into a pad. “Family name… means sharp metal knife, or some such in the old Corellian.” Kern said as he looked over his stump again. He slammed the armature onto it. The large knife like metal protrusion was held in place by a primitive but effective sling. The jagged knife arm wasn’t opposable, but it was sharp enough to do serious damage to anyone within striking distance. The vicious jagged looking weapon was definitely form over function, but Kern decided it was good enough for now. “You’re Corellian?” Alabast said hovering over the desk. “Born and bred… mostly born. Old money, old power, nothing special.” “So you were royalty?” The man asked his writing continuing. "What I wouldn't give for a nice bacta bath right now. Maybe an old fashioned Corellian draft... single malt." Kern said musing about his past. "You a drinker?" Alabast asked, the man working on some sort of journal in the corner. "Not for a very long time. Never had much time for it. Always seemed to be something more important than my own desires." Kern said as he carefully tinkered with a small comm unit that remained mostly intact. "Then you sacrificed too much. Even a Sith lord should be able to take a break once and a while." "I'm not a-" "Yeah, yeah... I know." Alabast shrugged him off. The former Sith gun operator was crotchety as hell, the wrinkles in his Avanti face belied years of what have been arduous service. "So why didn't you die?" Kern said musing ironically. "You're wondering why I didn't kill myself when my lord died?" Alabast said continuing to write in the pale light. "Sith have a powerful influence over the-" Kern was cutoff mid-sentence. "Weak minded peons?" Alabast said and began to chuckle. "I was never much for being weak minded. My ship got hit on an attack run, Darth something or other bailed out, left the rest of us to explode. I thought, this is it... I'll die doing the bidding of the mighty Sith empire.”, He said mockingly. “My pilot on the other hand had other ideas. He pushed me out before the ship exploded. I fell and landed in some rich folk’s garbage, soft old pillows, and flower decorations...the force-" "Screw the force, you just got lucky. Don't lecture me about the force old man, I've known it, felt it. It tortures me, haunts me, even 'till now. It loves to play tricks on us all, reverse fortunes, burn the arrogant, crush the self-assured, reward the unworthy." He said this as he began to fiddle with the broken comm device with one good hand. "Maybe, but force or no, I made it. So I kept my head low, and stayed out of the way. 'Till you came along." "You're welcome. Now as soon as I'm ready, I'll be making way back out of this...hell." Kern turned his head, going back to his work amidst the nursery ruins. "That's it? You're just going to leave?" Alabast said getting up in a bit of a huff. "I tried to kill my old master... I failed. Clearly this isn't the time to finish the job. By now she'll have back up, and considering the audacity of my attack it won't be long until they'll come looking for me. I plan to be long gone by the time the Calvary arrives." Kern said in a tone that was overly sober. "So you lose and then run, typical-" Alabast said derisively. "I'm stupid, but not insane. Besides I don't remember needing your permission. I have things to do, people to eviscerate. The force will not be making me its bit- "Who do you serve?" The man asked suddenly, his voice sounding a bit like an old Sith soldier. "What?" Kern was caught off guard. "Who... do... you... serve?" "I served the will of Lord Furion, I was his slave, but now I will fulfill my own will, and that is all you need to know." "Seems like you more his bit-" Kern reached out with the force violently, grabbing the man's throat and lifting him skyward in a moment of rage. "I promised not to kill you. So I won't. Don't make the mistake of thinking that I won't beat you to within an inch of your so-called life and break every miserable bone in that old wrinkled corpse you call a body. Clear?" Kern said, his voice filled with malevolence and anger. "C..clear." The man said as he struggled for breath. Kern dropped him, turning his attention back to his tinkering with cold regard to the man as he struggled to regain his breath. "Yeah... you're a Sith alright. Or at least you're trying very hard to be." Alabast said clearly not caring that much about Kern's threat. "Sith, Jedi... these are just titles. Truth is the labels don't mean that much to the rank and file folks down here. That's because you are beneath us. Ant's don't care much for what does the squishing. Trust me, I've worn booth boots." Kern said as he finally got the unit working. "So that's what we are? Ants?" "No... you're much more. People are the reason the Sith and Jedi will never have peace. For as long you exist... there will be conflict. That is your purpose, to make war... and I love every moment of it." "So what's your grand plan, how are you going to win?" Alabast asked confused to what Kern was saying. "Oh come now... I have no plans to do something so prosaic as "winning". Besides I won't be sharing my plans with you.... let's just say if I happen to rule a fair bit of the galaxy before the end, that would be fine too. I want half the galaxy trying to kill the other half..." "Eons ago our galaxy had beings that shaped the very future, powerful beings that created our existence. They held sway, the very stars themselves were there playthings, and nothing was outside their grasp. That sort of power will be mine, one way or the other. Now… killing my old master and everything she cares about? That would be a definite bonus." "You're... you're insane. You can't-" "Shut it. I don't need you anymore... you're just a vision of me. A sort of make shift reality, created by my shock at losing. But I'm over it... and over you. " " The man went silent, strangely unable to speak. Kern snapped the comm unit to life. He entered in a coded signal in a Keshiri dialect, and sent it. The machine blinked back an acceptance of the code and within moments the communication was relayed through a series of reception units. To anyone not knowing who the signal was from or the language that it was written in, Kern’s message would be nothing more than garbled noise. "What, was that?", Alabast said looking towards Kern. "My ticket off this wretched planet." Kern said as he laid back on a deteriorated couch. Alabast disappeared, blowing away like so much smoke as Kern’s mental image of a possible futures faded away, as he focused on the present.
  5. Falling was not something to be enjoyed... of this Kern was certain. In the bowels of Coruscant, a homeless Anzati looked up from his trash rumagging to see a small figure falling to what appeared to be certain death. He studied the falling person, wondering who would be dumb enough to find themselves in such a fashion. The wind, the impending death, the feeling of falling itself. Still in comparison with dying an ignominious death at the hands of his former master, it was the best he option he had available. As ground rushed up towards, him, angled himself towards the corroding foundation of a nearby building. The structure itself flared out towards it's base, the pyramidal structure ending at the molten core of the lower crust of Coruscant. Reaching out with urgency, Kern pulled himself towards the building. Pulling the saber from his tunic with the one good hand, he concentrated, activating it with force, he sliced into the corrosion. The saber protested, but the slow scrap sliced downwards with heavy resistance, the force decelerated his fall, and his body slammed against the building. His arm dislocated, but despite the pain, he held strong, using it to further anchor himself and increase his power. His mask came free and fell into the depths, as Kern's body finally came to a sparking stop, as the saber dug deeper into the metal. Here a few stories from a polluted street, Kern hung from one dislocated arm. "You know there are easier ways to get to the lower levels son." Said the old homeless Ryloth. Kern nodded, then deactivated the saber, dropping himself the final height. Landing in a trash heap, Kern took a moment to see how far he had fallen, and take stock of his injuries. He was bleeding, albeit the wounds were mostly superficial. The worst was the missing limb. He looked down on the cauterized stump below the elbow. Damn... i liked that hand. He thought before moving on. The small dart that had pierced through him, had left a small amount of tissue damage, and every move confirmed he was still bleeding internally. His shoulder still disjointed hurt the most, but there was little question that his pride hurt all the more. Skye was still alive, and with attack spiraling out of control, he was sure now that he would be a wanted man. Stupid, He thought to himself. He'd rushed the confrontation, misjudged the vulnerability of Coresec, and lost nearly everything. But he had no time to wallow in the vagaries of his loss. Still no images of his face were given away, as his mask and vocalizer would keep a level of anonymity. With his scars, and facial wounds, it would be difficult for his old Jedi images to match his present face. Still he would risk nothing to chance. Pulling himself free of the dumpster, Kern leaned heavily against its side. Breathing slow painful breaths, he steeled himself. He slammed his body shoulder first into the heavy metal container. He bellowed in pain, but the joint refused to be reset. He then put his elbow between the container and a nearby wall, wedging it tightly, he slammed his body forward again, this time he screamed loud enough to echo into the night, but the joint was finally back in place. Kern slid down, his sweat mingling with the blood that covered his body, his muscles trembling in the faint light of the one or two street lamps still functioning. The homeless man approached cautiously looking at the newcomer with curiosity. "You... jedi? No... um...Sith, am I right?" He asked, as kept his distance. "Neither... just a fool...trying to destroy other fools." Kern replied the depths of his loss sinking in. "You... you gonna kill me?" "Why? Do you need a proper killing?" Kern asked, looking around for his saber, realizing it was clutched in the old mans' hands. "Oh no, just if you were going kill me, I wanted know so I could prepare myself. Names Alabast." The main tossed him the saber, keeping a weather eye on him. "Death isn't always so sudden you know?" Kern said pulling a old tattered cloth from the trash, knocking loose a rat that scampered off. It smelled foul, but it was better guise then walking around shirtless. Kern pulled it over himself being sure to cover his face in the shadow of the tattered rags. "No... and yes." The homeless anzati replied. "Tell you what, i need shelter, a comm line, and a meal. You find me one of those three, and I wont kill you. Find me two and I'll reward you." "How do i know you won't kill me anyways? You Sith are always killing people." The Anzatian replied. "Because I'm an honest man, besides, what have you got to lose?" Kern said sardonically, his battered face managing a smile. "My life for starters. Alright, fine. Just keep your pants on, got a shelter a few blocks from here, and maybe even a comm line." The man said as hobbled away. "Excellent, now I can't kill you. It's a tidy arrangement." Kern responded. He needed to start somewhere, and bottom seemed like a good a place as any. --- Alabast was a short man, the two tendrils extending from his face twitching every few moments. Kern could tell he knew a lot more then he let on, only speaking when it suited him. He would answer questions with short non-specific answers, and what little info he gave up told Kern nothing. Still Kern sensed the darkside about him. "You know the Sith... don't you?" Kern said after they'd walked a certain distance in the dull and dank conditions of the lower levels. "A bit. I fought for them once." He declared, all at once. "A soldier..." "No, just a lowly gunnery operator." "How did you-" "You ask too many dumb questions to be a full Sith. Pretty stupid to attack when you did, given how tight and pissed off Coresec 'been recently. You ain't no lord, and you just lost, so I wouldn't be putting on airs." The man said dismissively. "I can still kill you, you know." Kern said, his anger rising at being lectured. "Son, when you're my age, death ain't a real threat, it's a neighbor who sneaks in every night waiting for right moment to slit your throat." He said bitterly. He turned back to the way they were going and forged ahead. Time slipped by, as Kern struggled to keep up. "How do you know I lost?" Kern asked slightly sheepishly. Wondering if his very demeanor had changed, or if the fight had somehow been broadcast despite his best efforts. "The freshly severed limb gave it away." The old man turned and showed him his left limb from under his cloak, where instead of a hand, a cheap metal replacement had been fashioned. "You ain't the only one lost himself a good scrap. Now, no more talking, this areas dangerous, got to many people and not enough food." The man said bitterly, and continued on, Kern on his heels.
  6. Kern fumbled against the wall of the darkened lobby, desperately searching for a way out. He could feel the approach of the Coresec security agents. He was unarmed, in more ways than one, the pain of burnt stump still crackling with the burnt embers of the cloth and flesh. He centered himself, concentrating on the darkside, using it to recover his senses through the pain. He pawed forward, finally coming to a small opening, some sort of shoot near a nurses station. Working the manual controls with his good arm, the door opened. Looking back to the room, he spotted his Krayt saber, and reaching out with his good arm he used the force to pull the deactivated saber to him. He tried to activate it, but his hand was still not fully under his control, his fingers refusing to obey the commands from his mind. The fight was over, despite his desire to continue, he no longer had the strength, and the force was no longer with him. He stowed the saber back in it’s place, tucked securely to his form. “Why? Why do you hate me?” Kern heard his master say aloud. He was stunned, could she not see? Was she truly so blind? "Because... you lack the will to be what you are... to do what must be done. You and those like you spread lies and pervert the galaxy with your very existence... we are beings of immense power. You grovel in the dirt like a worm, healing finite creatures that aren’t fit to lick the soles of our boots. We should be ruling this galaxy together… Skye." Kern growled, the pain of his injury making each word a grimace, each syllable marked with excruciating pain. "-and I swear by all the force, by every star burning infernally in the darkness of space, on every ounce of blood boiling in my veins…the day is coming when you will look up at me and tremble. Darkness is coming for you all Skye... and that right soon.” Kern spat, his last words trailed off, his exhaustion and wounds finally taking it’s toll on his voice. He smashed the gauntlet on his remaining right hand against the wall, breaking it. --- Outside the hospital, U’mbaro still kept up his fire, running towards what he was certain was freedom. He turned a corner and ran smack dab into several Coresec agents. Raising his rifle to fire, he stopped, feeling something was wrong, before he could even make a sound, his body split apart a highly explosive charge in his sternum blasting out with deadly force, the fireball was large, and shrapnel flew about with abandon. In the hospital body after body of the Keshiri exploded much the same way, the bombs exploding with impunity, as the signal from Kern’s gauntlet winked out. It had been tied to him, for if he expired, they would all be taken with him. They had no knowledge of the devices however, Kern had made certain of that. There would be no evidence of their existence, no bodies to be poured over by curious and clever detectives. They were the epitome of disposable, and so they died ignominious deaths, with no one to sing their songs. All except one. Unconscious, but close to death, L’thara’s device didn’t activate, It having been damaged by the collapse of the building. The last survivor of Kern’s elite guard lay within the rubble, her life seeping away with each drip of her blood. --- Kern shot his old master one last look, one last salvo of anger and rage, but now it included fear and just a flicker of regret... just as he tipped backwards into the shoot. His body barely fitting into the shaft he tumbled from view. The shaft angled into a steep incline, and Kern’s tunic was violently torn from his body on the sharp angles and ridges. He felt every abrasion, ever cut, as he fell for what seemed like an eternity. I have failed you my lord… Kern said to himself. Seconds passed, his body continually pummeled by the sides of the long shoot. Pieces of flesh tore from his body as the jagged edges of the metal shoot continued to impact him. Then he felt the temperature begin to change, below him, he spotted a light, but this was no daylight… Behold Gehenna… my last refuge. There below burned the fires of the disposal unit of the hospital, where medical waste and other unmentionables were burned in a fiery abyss of the fusion generator. He considered allowing himself to enter the void of existence, slipping the bonds of the mortal coil, to feast forever in the hell of others nightmares, to rid himself of all that held him in bondage… including his battered and now bloodied body. No… I have only not succeeded, my task remains. Kern had to act, and quickly. Within moments he would be burnt into a Sith meat pie… and there would be no special sauce with this order. He gradually slowed his momentum with the force, pushing back as he concentrated his rage and anger at his loss into a will to survive. I will not die here…my task is unfinished, my enemies still stand. My revenge will never be slaked. Jamming what was left of his arm and other limbs, kern came to a dead stop. The temperature at this level was in clearly not meant for humanoid survival. The fire below raged on, and if he didn’t die of his wounds, he would surely be cooked alive. The saber was out of the question, it was taking everything he had to keep himself steady. Besides which he hadn’t gained the fine motor control he would need to activate it, let alone use it. He could however still make a pretty convincing fist. He slammed his fist into the nearby metal panel… the panel dented but didn’t budge. This is what I am now… He slammed forward his fist again and again, raging at the metal object in his way. This is what I have become… a blunt and broken weapon. Each blow brought back feelings and memories of his betrayal by the Jedi. Each simpering emotionally laden moment was like a fiery coal that lay upon his mind. But I am not done. I will be re-forged. Another strike caused his knuckles to begin to bleed, but still he pressed on. Feeling bone meat steal, and neither would budge/ There are no walls I cannot break through… The next blow hurt even more, but Kern stowed it away, building a reservoir in his mind of the sensation, but refusing to allow it to hold him back. I will fall a thousand times… and I will never be defeated. The metal panel was buckling now, and Kern could sense it’s integrity lower, his freedom was close at hand. I will- Before he could strike again, the shaft broke, bent and fell sideways by his weight, and jerked his body free like so much garbage. Kern, half naked, bleeding, scarred, and disarmed was tossed into the lower levels like a ragdoll… -probably regret not carrying a parachute. (exit to the lower levels)
  7. They just revealed the new title! http://io9.gizmodo.com/star-wars-episode-viii-is-star-wars-the-last-jedi-1791512987 Ok, I'm excited now.
  8. Kern stood over Skye, and for just a moment, he could hear the sounds of his saber smashing down, again and again. He smiled, feeling at last It was over. I am power, I am might, I am... unarmed? Kern looked down too see his own arm still clutching the activated saber as it hummed against the durasteel floor, sparking and creating gouges in the pattern from the still depressed activation button. He looked towards the place where his arm should have been as the blade deactivated. Where there had been a powerful limb surging with life, readying to remove that of his master's, there was now only a short burnt stump that sort of just ended just below the joint. He articulated the joint, looking at the burnt stump. "Oh-" Kern said aloud, his voice through the vocalizer shallow and empty. The gloating tones replaced with shallow breaths. The dart had punctured his midsection, and now he was bleeding to. Despite the effects of the poison, Kern new that within moments the pain would come. It was then a millisecond later that the pain arrived. Carried through his nerves in some sort of delayed reaction that made him fall to his knees, and then on to his stomach. His mind cried out through the force for help, a reflex to the sudden shock of dismemberment. Panic, confusion, anger. "Aaaa-ggh-!" ,he howled as the pain finally arrived. Each instant brought a new echelon of emotion and physical pain. "You-, my-, how-" He kept trying to speak, but he was still in shock. The words came out half formed, rage and pain melting together in half spoken phrases. It was over, he'd failed... again. Skye still lived, still survived, all he had fought for fell to dust. There would be no ascension, no glorious triumph. Kern tried to scrounge on the ground in the dark in vain for his arm, for his weapon, the magnitude of his failure washing over him, overcoming his frail sanity. He grew desperate, seeing Skye was still armed, and the effects of the poison yet to take hold. The toxins invading her body would take a while to paralyze her, if they worked at all. It occurred to him that she might be able to counter the effects given time. He had to run... to flee. The disgrace didn't matter, survival was paramount. "You haven't won, I-it's my destiny. You-" Kern said, flailing, unable to gather even the strength to push himself off of the ground with what was now his only arm. It didn't work, and Kern succeeded only in rolling on to his side. He concentrated trying to move his injured arm, but he could barely get it to open the clenched fist. How... how could he have lost? "You cannot-, I am sith, I am power, you are-" Kern struggled to lean himself against a nearby desk, trying to focus on the force to help him to stand. He had underestimated her power, or over estimated his own. It was then that U'mbaro crashed into the lobby area. He'd managed to smash his way through a auxiliary room door, and now came face to face with a wounded floundering Kern. "Good... U'mbaro, excellent timing. First, kill her, then you must-" Kern began speaking an order that man would understand, but he could feel something had changed. The beast of a Keshiri male looked him over. In seconds he turned his face from Kern to looting the unconscious body of the Coresec swat member, grabbing lustily for his heavy repeater blaster, and several grenades, arming himself and ignoring his emissary. "U'mbaro? I'm giving you a command!" The man's empty gaze back at him showed Kern utter disrespect. Any warrior who needed help was not worthy of leadership according to the traditions of Kesh. Apparently U'mbaro felt this extended to him as well. The man saw the entrance and made for it, shirking any oath or hold that Kern had over him. He looked back once more. Saying the Keshiri word for loser...'omadsiz' and spitting on the ground in a final act of defiance. It was the height of disrespect, for a leader to be spat at. It meant Kern was dead to U'mbaro. "Y- you... sniveling worm, I brought you from the muck, I elevated you to my elite guard, you would dare-" Kern tried to reach out with the force, but he wasn't fast enough. and the string he could always pull wasn't there, something had gone wrong. He'd lost his connection with the Keshiri. He was too weak to keep the mental influence going. The large man left as he came, in a hurry, with nothing tethering him to his senses. "You! You did this to me... didn't you? Some sort of trick... you contemptible-" Kern spat at Skye angrily, propelled himself backwards, managing to keep himself from flopping on the ground a second time. His balance was off, the weight of his body now uneven. --- U'mbaro charged out of the front entrance, his panic evident, and began firing bolts towards the gathered police force. His mind still confused by the blast of fear Kern had submitted him to. He didn't even bother to find cover, such was the lack of control the large Keshiri was experiencing. He needed to flee, and he would do anything to continue running. --- Kern tried to gather himself, but the pain was too great. The shock began setting in, accompanied by light effects of blood loss from the dart, he was no longer in shape to fight anyone. "This...isn't over." Kern said bitterly, biting into lip every so often to try and remember the pain. He fed on it, but his mind was unsettled, his connection with the darkside weakened. He lumbered with force now, unable to focus due to his new deformity. Unable to retrieve his blade, as it sat under Skye's protection, and his other in her hand, He backed away. Reaching the wall, he edged along it, the fear of being at his old master's mercy, chief in his mind. "You... you can't kill me, you're weak...you're nothing!" Kern said suddenly fearful. He tried to stall for time, as he reached out with the force searching for an exit, any means to extricate himself from judgement. There had to be a ventilation shaft, some means of connection to the power systems that fed all buildings on Coruscant. He just had to find it. He dug deeply for determination, for any strength, yet all he could find was more anger, all that he pulled forward was unbridled hate.
  9. It was working, he could feel the fear rising in the weak minded, and then all at once, it began to withdraw… What… what is this!? He could feel his work being undone, reaching out he tasted the source. It was her... it was- Hope!?… You really believe the lies you spin don’t you? You really think- Skye was trying to undo what he had done. But she was too late for most… once fear was born, it would take more than positive feelings to overcome. He knew he could easily counter it, but it was then that he felt a numbing feeling in his arm, a searing beam of light attacking his very being. He turned his attention to regaining control… but nothing happened, his arm fell useless at his side, and he watched as the smaller blade dropped from it's grasp. He growled cursing his masters handiwork. "You worthless, insignificant-" Kern felt the attack coming, but Skye was too fast. Her weight landed squarely on his back, and he flew forwards several meters crashing through a series of metal and ceramic statues depicting smiling doctors and nurses cradling an infant. His vocalizer still hid his face, but the mask was cracked, and the jagged edges had cut his chin. The blood flowed down his pale neck, as he forced himself to stand. As he tried to recover, he could feel the devastation above, the increasing loss of life, the silencing of souls and the despair of the living. The wave of death reinvigorated his power, like a fire to his soul. The carnage, the death, all were that on which the dark side feasted, gave him power. Still she had done something, his left arm was weakened. The supposed healer had done the opposite of her stated craft. There it was… the height of hypocrisy, the unmitigated gall of his old master. Again she displayed utter contempt for the natural order. She was failing, despite her best efforts the dark side still grew. “Can you feel it Skye?… I can feel them, through this body... the voices screaming together, begging for order, for strength, for salvation from the void.” Kern said his power surging through his body, each nerve ending still functioning feeling the heavy weight of the dark side of the force. His mind was clear, his goal in front of him. No more distractions, no more waiting… this was his time. “You’re always trying, but you know you will fail them all… eventually they are consumed, and you stubbornly continue on... it’s pathetic.” Kern said through his vocalizer. "Death, fear, pain, those are the natural order. You think because you patch flesh, and bake cookies, that the galaxy will reward you, when nothing could be further from the truth. Look at yourself, the Jedi have betrayed you, hiding in their temples, making peace with their mortal enemies who very soon will swallow them all. Your friends and family have abandoned you, even your temporary allies feed the darkside with their malevolence… all that remains is the truth. All that remains is me. Darkness… is the only truth. You don’t matter, you never did, and you never will despite all your healing, all your light, all of it will fail, Just as you failed with your precious Fynn." He said as his mind fed her a vision of Fynn’s body splayed open, floating in waters of Kamino all those years ago, the faces of the dead Jedi on Ilum. He drew on more anger and rage, fueling his power, but now his connection and control over the Keshiri let him drink deeply of their deaths. Kern drew the second saber to back to him with the aid of the force. “My powers have only begun to grow, and already I'm beyond you. My arm may be useless… but it’s funny, I don’t need both of them to end you.”, he said with a ironic lilt to the vocalizer which gave way to a laugh. The deep rumbling bass of his laughter twisted and distorted into a haunting echo that emanated outwards seemingly louder and more monstrous with each moment. The second blade then snapped back to life, and rose to be suspended in midair. The sickly pale yellow blade angled on it’s own into an aggressive stance, mimicking Kern’s own brutal fighting style. This was an ability that as Jedi he could have never achieved. The blade was not simply an extension of his arm, it was the force of his will. It was the embodiment of his anger, and rage; an outward manifestation of every malevolent warrior Kern had defeated. The blades speed and strength only determined by his connection to the dark side, and the limits of Kern’s reach. The blade slashed towards Skye, as did Kern, launching into a series of attacks that were precise, powerful and most importantly distracting. For as she defended herself, a small dark tendril gripped one of the darts that Kern had brought, with incredible speed, the dart went flying off, controlled seemingly by yet another malevolent force that Kern had conjured in his on-going onslaught. The small, centimeter in diameter, dark metal dart spiked with the toxic concoction that Kern had skillfully prepared, slipped through the air with increasing speed, finally it slammed with breakneck speed towards Kern’s back. This was a move that Kern knew that Skye would never expect, her desire to heal would never allow her to conceive of this action. Slicing easily through his un-shielded abdomen, the tiny dart slowed only momentarily, and then out again, continuing at full speed until it entered into Skye’s chest amidst their struggle. It pierced arteries around her heart, spreading it’s poison inexorably outwards burying deep into her core. The moment had arrived, Kern knew that this was it, his victory over her was now assured, regardless of the outcome, her fate was only a matter of time. All the simmering rage and hate was unleashed in one moment as he struck out with the Krayt blade, the force of the blow was carried with all his strength, slicing downwards through at her saber and cutting into her shoulder with authority. The resulting blow caused her to fall backwards, her saber knocked from her grip, while a small charred gash was visible in her clavicle area. Kern approached his wounded master now, smelling the victory, and savoring every last moment of it. The sickly pale blade now no longer needed, fell to the ground behind them, it’s mission complete. The dark form of Kern loomed over Skye, preparing the final strike, the blow that would usher his name into the ledger of Sith Lord’s, a new power, no longer to be ignored and derided. "It’s over, you are beaten. I would ask you to join me, but perhaps you're too far gone to be worthy. But, I promised you my name... remember? I’m nothing without my word.” He said as he savored the pain she was in. Watching as her face reflected the panic and fear that he was soon to inflict upon her precious Jedi order, and the galaxy at large. Kern, came the name through the force, loud, defiant, Triumphant. Skye would remember the name as Fynn's older brother, but her old apprentice never spoke of him in detail. “Now, for my last gift to you… arrogant fool… oblivion!” He said as he raised the red blade above his head with his good arm, readying to chop his old master into messes. (3) Rev'd for grammar.
  10. Kern recoiled as the slash of Skye saber caught him in his left gauntlet. The burn was deep and he felt the excruciating sensation in an instant white hot flash. He wasted no time recovering and as Skye moved to follow up on her successful attack, Kern sprung the first surprise he could muster. Pivoting on his left foot, Kern turned with blazing speed producing another saber from his right side, the smaller blade snapped to life, and sliced dangerously close to his former masters face. The sickly pale yellow saber was a precisely balanced instrument, a surgical scalpel compared to the heavy broadsword of the Krayt blade. The move was an aggressive one, a move to cause his opponent to think twice before pressing any advantage she might have momentarily felt. Kern renewed his attack then, wordlessly taking pleasure in going at her with continued violent blows. Now the jeopardy she faced had doubled, as Kern's skill with two lightsabers was nearly in parity with his true strength. He showed no signs of slowing, but rather He lunged forward, pressing the attack through the shattered lobby. He began to feel the panic of the surrounding citizenry, the fear his attack was causing continued to feed him. Each pang of distress, each unexpressed instance of anger and fear compelled him to strike harder and faster. Kern could feel the dark side grow in him as he concentrated on his hatred for Skye. Each moment of rage unveiled another moment of degradation at her hands, the denial of his true strength. She had cowed him, mislead him down of path of the great lie of the Jedi. Here she was again, standing in the path of his greatness. Now it was her turned to be exposed to the truth, to strip her of her armor, to break her and show once and for all that the darkside was no mere obstacle to be overcome, but rather the true source of strength that she had denied him. As he prepared to continue the onslaught, he felt it, interlopers, the approach of lower beings and their meddling. The flesh drones that had the temerity to attempt to rule themselves now tried to interrupt his revenge had returned. The explosion was far enough away to leave them unscathed, but Kern knew that their addition to combat would make his position untenable. Kern caught Skye again as she tried to fend of an attack from the side, this time, he managed to slam his elbow into the back of her head, causing her to slam violently forwards into a nearby decorative display celebrating light day. Kern wanted badly to follow up this attack, but there was no time, he had to keep any outside interference from ruining his victory. Finally Kern broke the incessant attack, leaping backwards into the air, landing near the front entrance, Kern reached forwards, felt the approaching swat team and took a moment to curse the very air itself. He began using a technique that Morrigal had shown him in his many hours of training on the isolated world of Kesh. Moving his hands to influence the force in the surrounding area, Kern concentrated all the fear of various wards nearby, fear of death, of loss, of pain, and isolation, his own fear added to the potent cocktail, all the years of his haunting time on Hoth, the absolute depths of despair and darkness he had known as a Jedi but had tried to subdue without success.... all that he had felt in the cold dark of night, or in the heat of the caves fear of the Krayt beasts of Kesh...all of it radiated outwards in all directions, most immediately at the approaching Coresec Swat members. In the corner of his eye he spotted a far off camera crew, even though they would never see it through his mask, he smiled, reveling in the horror he was about to unleash in the innocent minds of the weaklings in front of him. The Jedi would never know the power he could feel coursing through his mind and body at this moment. Fear...unmitigated, unreasoning, unyielding FEAR! Kern's mind screamed as it carried the mental message as images, frightful things poured into the minds of the unsuspecting squad. Jedi, who trained to master their fears, could overcome this, but to the unhardened minds of the Coresec forces, and his own Keshiri it wasn't so easily warded off. Kern had seen the bravest of Kesh brought low by the action. Only the very sturdiest of minds could resist, and even then they weren't completely immune to nagging feelings of self-loathing and doubt. He knew his own forces were susceptible, but he needed time, Skye had to be crushed, all else was secondary, mere sacrifices the altar of his glory. Some dropped their weapons and out right fled, as their own fears began attacking them. Others began babbling incoherently to their comrades about their worst fears, un-steadied and un-moored from sense. Still others began to blast at creatures visible only to them. The effect might even reach the pilots of the closing gunships. The full effect of the technique diminished at range, but it still was enough to make them double check their targets causing uncertainty and distraction. Kern hadn't mastered the summon fear technique, so the effect on most would be momentary, perhaps a minute or two, but enough for Him time to finish Skye, of this he was certain. He turned back to search his former master, moving back into the central hall of the lobby, with carnage and vengeance on his mind. "Come Skye... I have a gift for you." He said confidently as he stocked his prey though the darkened lobby once more. (part 2 of 3) --- The Sith pilot saw the plan evaporate in front of his eyes, the skilled veteran knew that there wouldn't be any chance once the gunships honed in, the ship wouldn't be able to withstand that sort of pounding. Something had to be done it was then he noticed Coresec shooting despite the civilian hostages. This was shocking. Even in the depths of war, soldiers wouldn't open fire if it was possible civilian targets could be harmed, such would be considered a war crime. He had sworn his life to the Sith, but even would hesitate to carryout such an order. Here those who were charged with protecting the public and yet they acted without any thought or independence. Still if this was their resolve...Activating his comm panel in the shuttle, he sent a single line of Keshiri text to all available receivers in the area. "Shuttle Alpha in jeopardy! Extraction Cancelled! Hostages not effective! Move to Secondary Extraction point," He turned the throttle on full, preparing to escape. Pulling back on the main yoke the ship gained a few meters of altitude. The pilot began an old trick he'd learned back in- Suddenly a wave of fear struck him, in his mind he saw a large mass of tentacles reaching for his face, massive suckers attached too his forehead and began to suck the life directly from his body, he screamed in fear and the old veteran froze, his aged mind lost in his deepest fear. He had to get it off, somehow, someway, and he ignored the flashing indicators on his control panel. Unfortunately for the pilot, this was the precise moment the ground forces decided to open up, in completely disregard for any collateral damage. The small unarmed ships' main drive splayed open and exploded under direct heavy fire. The massive explosion rocketed through the entire floor of the hospital adjacent it, taking most of the 52nd and 51st floor with it. There had been no evacuation, no thought or concern given to any innocent lives, and so scores of patients, nurses and doctors along with huddling families were incinerated in the blast, and the resulting wreckage began the long plunge downwards. All of it, the shuttles destruction, the burning bodies of still living humanoids trying to escape the horrific carnage, was captured on camera, their screams slowly dying as the blaze raged. The building itself shuddered, but remained upright, as the fire spread, fire suppression systems now offline in the affected portions. L'thara cowered behind a nurses station on the 50th floor, cursing loudly as her mind was filled with the images of her punishment at the hands of her brutal mother. A large leather strap descended upon her over and over, as the skin was stripped from her flesh. She nearly screamed as she rocked back and forth feeling despair throttle her once confident form their escape was aborted and another of her Keshiri brethren took a head shot and plummeted from view. The floor above her buckled, and a second later L'shara was mostly crushed under a half ton of flaming durasteel and debris. Her last thoughts were of home and horror, here on a planet so far from her own. --- The roof battle did not go well. U'mbaro couldn't try as he might, get a shot on the demons closing in on him. The collective fire of the small pale beings who Kern had directed them to kill was beginning to make killing them harder. Then two grenades sliced through H'nek and T'zar. H'nek's head came clean off his shoulders. But T'jar despite being heavily injured, propped himself up and continued his fire. The gunship then lowered away from the roof, leaving the still lethal demons firing upon them. His patience nearly exhausted, the massive Keshiri decided one last move to prove his worthiness to Kern. He yelled for the other Keshiri to continue firing. Grabbing up body of one of his fallen Keshiri brethern, U'mbaro charged foward using the man's body as a shield. As he closed the gap in between himself and the three remaining puny humanoids, he let out a savage roar. He smashed the first armored demon with the heavy body, sending the man over the edge and to certain death. Grabbing the second, the nearly eight foot tall being pulled him from his feet, raising him into the air and brought him down on his shoulder with a sickening crunch. The man's back was broken, and U'mbaro discarded him with a victorious roar. The two other remaining Keshiri gave the same cry, in response, they had defeated the demons, proven themselves- It was then that he felt it, a wave of fear that came like a crippling blow. U'mbaro looked up to see a pantheon of demon's all with massive black eyes, and cruel faces, each of them reaching down to squash him. He was a small child again, cowering from something he couldn't find, he fled, abandoning comrades who also had begun to see their own nightmares splayed out in front of them. The large man nearly tumbled down the stairs as he sought a hiding place to steady himself.
  11. “Fynn Relmis! Put him down and face me like the man you claim you are! But that’s it isn’t it, you are not that man any longer, are you? … You became the thing you never wanted to become - a Sith. Just what name do you go by now anyhow? Lord ‘I’m a big bad Sith' or what?” Kern stiffened as she used the name again dropping the man's unconscious form. The mere mention of that sniveling weakling, and his mind surged with fresh rage. Kern reached into his tunic and brought out his main blade, the 'Krayt'. He activated it with little flair, and the deep red blades' glow cut through the dark lobby with a furnace like glow. He detached his half cape, letting it flutter to the ground, Kern then held his weapon forward, aiming the point towards Skye's smaller form meters away as he responded. "Fool... I told you already. Your boy is dead. I killed him, sliced off his head, crawled inside, and ate his flesh as the hunter does his prey", he stopped in his tracks and looked at her with pure rage as more beast then living man. He took a moment and noticed the two camera's in the lobby. Reaching out he stripped both camera's from their mounts, and crushed them with authority. He would have no recordings of his new style of fighting to give others an advantage in facing him. He would smote 'Master' Skye, and show the failing Jedi that their time was truly done. The so called knights and padawans would see the futility of Skye and her defeat would fully usher him into the order of the Sith. No more a bastard student of the darkside would he be. "When I'm squeezing the last ounce of your so called 'life' from your corpse, I will give you my name." Kern said issuing a final promise, as he prepared his first strike. He could feel her trying to draw on the light to steady herself. This he could not allow, he had to unbalance her, to strike at her equilibrium, find something... anything...He needed her thoughts to be weak. "If only your god consort were here to watch you suffer. Then again, maybe you just didn't appeal to him anymore... but hey... a god's gotta do, what a god's gotta do." He said derisively, a hint of sexual perversion carried by his thoughts and mental images, twisting the knife just that much more. "Now, no more talk 'healer'!" Kern spat as he approach her aggressively, channeling his pent up rage into his first few strikes. His vertical and horizontal attacks were fierce and powerful, years of training and combat from the most powerful champion on Kesh had taught him to focus on his opponents vital zones, the neck, the mid section, the legs, each strike came with a quick follow, the pattern and pace of his strikes were the antithesis of the defensive style that Skye would remember from his former self. Know his style was of one determined to extract a penalty for anyone trying to hold him back. He was no weakling fallen Jedi struggling to prove his superiority, but rather a seasoned killer who had reveled in weakening his opponents in prolonged combat. Each strike was meant to go through her, not simply test her responses. The only truth is darkness, the only path pain, all else are lies and deceit! Here in the midst of a place of pain and despair, as patients in upper and lower wards lay in agony, desperate pain, and hopelessness, the dark side was strong. Kern feasted on it, his every thought concentrating on ending his hapless master with it's aid, he would sap the light from her presence. His each thought was of revenge, with each strike, his will to dominate grew stronger. The red blade sliced and hacked against hers, the crash sending off sparks as the crystal of her saber struggled to keep his powerful blade at bay. The darkened room lit up, as clash upon clash sent ribbons of brilliant light in all directions. Kern kept up his fierce attacks, spinning, diving, jumping and twisting each sortie with only the occasional momentary pause. This was no test, no delicate confrontation, this was a fight that had been coming since the first moment of Kern's emergence in the bowel's of Coruscant. The moment Kern had been unleashed upon the galaxy, he had been a guided weapon, an ever growing dagger of darkness to the heart of his old master, whose time would finally come to an end. Kern would end her, and with her the Jedi's primary healer and their sense of hope. All those years under your thumb, all those years wasted listening to your tainted pablum... each mental word came with it's own sting, each one came with a powerful strike towards her. Kern brought to bare all of the loathing and disgust he had for the lies and shame his former 'teacher' had foisted upon him. He reveled in each attack, savoring each sinew of muscle she used in response, as he kept up the varied blows, he bore down and finally broke through her initial defense, tagging her hip with a singeing graze that burnt through her tunic and seared flesh. He capitalized on the break through and used the momentary distraction to bring a heavy force push to her midsection, attempting with all of his rage to violently shove her body backwards through a nearby live glass information panel. Your end is inevitable, I will destroy you just as I did Fynn, and then all shall know your lies! He screamed through the force, the dark side giving weight to his mental voice. She would feel his dominating will, the true will of the Dark side. (1 of 3 Dueling posts)
  12. “The Darkside has corrupted you Fynn. What happened to you?” “Corruption? If that’s what you call discovering that everything you were taught was a lie… then so be it.” Kern said knowingly. He’d always knew that Skye was deluded, but only know did he see the depths of her depraved state. “Who was it that got to you Fynn? Who was it that turned you away from the light?” “A power beyond you, or anything your feeble mind can presently imagine.” Kern said as he knew that her questions were simply meant to delay him, give her time to enact a plan. He knew her mental probing was powerful, and so the only image she received from his mind was of an inky blackness, a dark fog that seemed formless and unsympathetic. “Besides, If I tell you now, it’ll spoil dinner.” Kern said disapprovingly. He could sense her stalling, almost as if- “You forget Fynn. I can see into a person’s soul. I can see what you are trying to hide. You long for the relief of pain.” I hide nothing. Pain and darkness are everywhere… it’s the only truth. All your vaunted wisdom, all your supposed knowledge, and you still don’t understand that fundamental reality. "We really must catch up... how's the fam?" “Who said I was alone?” He watched Skye say as a weapon was introduced into the room. “I would warn them that the hostages will die horribly if you try to- well crap. , Kern said in a rumbling sub vocalization at his old teacher recognizing the device about to go off a dozen meters from him. “Hostages have been taken to the roof!” “Excuse me… this was a private-!”, bellowed Kern as closed his eyes and turned from the concussive blast. Using the force he anchored himself and shielded his form. The concussive force knocked him from his feet, and left his ears ringing, and lesser being would have been struggling to stay conscious, but Kern fixed his mind on the pain, drawing strength from the struggle itself, and in a moment he was back to his feet, and angrier then he had been in a long time. A small trickle of blood now came from his eyebrow, where he’d made contact with the ground. The room was still dark from the removal of all ambient lighting moments earlier, but Kern did not flee. He was of the Sith, the dark side was his ally, he feared no mere mortal peons… The first two agents through the door were lifted into the air, their heads slammed into the ceiling with concussive force, The first was then summarily thrown back towards into their entering comrades before they could breech with cruel indifference. Kern was no Lord of the Dark Side, but the powers to deal with non-force users had grown immensely in his isolation on Kesh. The second was drawn back towards Kern. Grabbing the unconscious man by the neck, Kern stabbed the man with one of his darts, the deadly poison within quickly entering his blood stream. Suddenly the large front counter behind him stirred, the large metal desk violently ripped loose from it’s moorings and levitated into the air, Kern then shoved it towards the entrance with incredible speed, it scrapped and tumbled with a heavy thud as it lodged in the front entrance doors, effectively blocking future entry, barring serious efforts to remove it. --- The CoreSec Gunship is not shot down, instead pinning most of U'mbaro's squad on the roof behind scattered cover while they take pop-shots back at the gunship. Meanwhile the dropship comes in to deploy its troopers to the roof, where a fierce battle ensues between CoreSec and the entrenched followers of Kern. U'mbaro and the others effectively distract the gunship and dropship because of this, leaving an opening for Kern's shuttle to get to the 50th floor. Contrary to Skye’s warnings the hostages were not being ushered to roof, Kern had determined early on, that the second team was diversionary, and his plan had worked wonderfully. The Keshiri would die before being taken, and if they didn’t it wouldn’t matter they didn’t speak basic, and their tongue was not known to the galaxy at large. The Coresec team lacked the cover or intel on the positions or numbers of assailants. Battling through using superior number their assault they cut down two of the six man squad, but the remaining four continued to resist the attackers, and making further incursions to the lower levels all but impossible. U’mbaro bellowed at his comrades to keep fighting, as he leveled his heavy blaster at the vessel and let loose another volley at the Assault shuttle above, attracting it's attention to him at the right time. He could not know that the weapon he used wasn't sufficient to heavily damage the more heavily armored assault craft. Rather Kern had meant for them to simply momentarily distract the air support, for just long enough. The huge armored Keshiri warrior would prove himself today, and assure his place in the pantheon of the chosen. He couldn't know that he was just a diversion. --- “That was just… rude.” Kern said through the vocalizer, annoyed as the lobby was momentarily free of any interlopers. He twisted his neck, stretching the skin on his face to elicit more pain, and in turn drawing more power and centering his rage on his old master’s form. He could feel the fight above, and reveled in each death both his own soldiers and the adversaries. ”A storm of carnage, a field of pain, a harvest of death… he though loudly, reveling in the conflict. “You hide behind your masses of flesh while you ask me to send mine away?” Kern asked sardonically. As he received news through his comm in the tongue of the Keshiri. The first squad had reached the extraction point, and began their carefully thought out plan. “How…Jedi of you.” Kern said, realizing that his old master had used a ruse unworthy of her. She was as weak as he imagined, even lacking the courage to face him on her own. Lies… deceptions… just as in my vision. Kern thought aloud, he knew Skye could hear him, but it didn’t matter, not any more. “I will show you a world with order and strength, not corruption and weakness…” Kern spit out in a semi-coherent ramble. “Also… the loveliest little spot with hills and mountains, I swear there’s even a lake of blood. It’s wonderful …if you like blood.” Kern added, musing aloud. --- The first squad of Keshiri soldiers set the charges on the wall of the 50th floor. Once finding cover, the wall was blown, and a large gaping hole with jagged edges and fragments of metal hung out in the evening air. A nearby shuttle approached, a check of it’s registry would show it as reported stolen from a nearby RelmCo depot, reported just moments before. The ships landing ramp opened and slowed to try to move in close to the building all while taking inaccurate blaster fire from the sparse ground forces gathered far below. With the roof squad still battling they had no window from which to attack the shuttle from above, it’s more vulnerable areas. Kern had planned each move with exacting detail, and now his soldiers followed his orders to the letter. --- Kern felt the presence of others approaching, normal beings with small minds and small ambitions. Foot soldiers that were representative of the collective filth the galaxy had accumulated without the will of the strong to intervene. Interlopers… He would crush them for their arrogance in challenging him. Kern held the soldier aloft still by the neck, blocking himself from any sudden attacks. “Ah, ah, no ideas now Skye. I can break this man's neck with just a small push. This planet bores me, but you… I have such things in store for the two of us. We have such a future together. Now this fellow has about five minutes until the little gift I’ve introduced to his nervous system stops his heart, no normal doctor could ‘fix’ him, but you probably could, or you could let him die and fight me.”, Kern said his mind turning over the few remaining options with increasing malice in his mind towards his old master. “But I have to tell you, my trust in you is rather diminished, I mean, here I am catching up on old times and you call the authorities… not very nice.“, Kern said waving his finger back and forth, feeling the underlings outside trying to regain access. The music was set, the hall was full. Now he had to dance. "I'd hoped to avoid killing you so soon, I had this elaborate plan with a card, several torture chambers, handcuffs, but the best laid plains...", Kern said oddly sorrowfully readying himself for her decision. This… this was going to be glorious. Edited to reflect mod ruling
  13. Kern said aloud as her signature became clearer. The darkside had guided him to this point. Finally, the reunion that he had desired for so long. Now he would have a chance to show this former master a glimpse of the power that he now possessed. A power that she couldn't resist or fathom. Leave these people alone Fynn. They have done nothing to you. You came here for me, so here I am. Tell your soldiers to stand down and leave." The name was a familiar one, but Skye was talking about a weakling who Kern had eagerly removed. It was entertaining though. Like listening to the hollow pleas of the supposedly innocent. I'm sorry, you must be mistaking me for someone else. Kern said as he smirked and gave hand signals for his soldiers to get the hostages up and begin moving them to the roof. "Ladies, Gentlemen... let's get some air." Kern said through his vocalizer, which continued to keep his voice unrecognizable to common pattern recognition. The group was moved forcibly, with shoves, kicks and growled threats. "But the patients!" Said the lead doctor, looking about, his panic reaching a fever pitch. One of the Keshiri butted his face with end of a blaster rifle. The man complied, finally. The other nurses and medical professionals did the same. Someone who follows your orders... someone who was your unwitting fool. He tapped a button on his right gauntlet, activating a private beacon, and escorting the rest of the group upwards. --- The first squad of Keshiri finally reached the target, the roof. Busting into the open air, The half dozen Keshiri guards cleared the surveillance devices, and set up positions as per Kern's specific instructions. The large commlink sitting on the rood was disabled, there would be no calls for help any time soon. The vista of the massive city in late twilight They had practiced these exact maneuvers dozens of times, and now it was time to accomplish the mission. --- The seven assembled hostages hand their hands tied, and mouths gagged, in the style of slaves on Kesh. Then they were led towards the nearest sky lift, and one group at a time ascended, until only Kern and L'shara were left in the lobby of the Hospital. So...it is you. Hiding? So unworthy. Time was, you were a god... all came at your beckon call. Lord's and masters sought your skills. The galaxy trembled at your visage, all would look upon you, and know they were saved. He felt her approaching. A powerful source of light that perverted the shroud of the darkside that he exuded. No, no it would not do. She needed to be extinguished, or turned. There had to be a reckoning. "Go. Follow the plan." Kern said to L'shara sternly as he turned to see a figure at the entrance moving towards him. "But she-" L'shara saw it too, flashing her sharpened teeth, eager to attack the figure that had captured Kern's attention. "-Is nothing compared to me. Now go." Kern said as he her ushered on wards. So...You still persist. Still trying to heal a galaxy that never asked to be healed. Kern said finally face to face with his old master. He turned his head to the side studying her simplistic get up. Kern flexed his hands in the thick black leather gauntlets, gritting his teeth as the taste of her presence washed over him. Her light was strong, but his darkness was stronger. He was no shadowed weakling, not pale apparition that could be dismissed. Pathetic. "Look at you now, alive but so alone, a sad and stale reminder of a failed ancient order, weak, corrupt, leaderless. And yet-" Kern stopped and smiled though, seeing her face. Kern said his voice crackling through the vocalizer. He continued, his voice sympathetic, comforting, a dark melodic tone to his voice was enough to entrance most beings he'd found. Kern spoke as he paced slowly, his arms folded. His mask glinted in the pale light of the empty glass filled lobby. His reflection was seemingly every where. So his presence to. The room darkened, as one by one the light sources were burnt out as he stretched to drink of the despair and pain of the remaining dying patients. He breathed it in as breath of fresh air and mixing it with the exquisite pain of staples holding his face in place, Kern could feel his old masters guilt and loss. Quietly he focused on one of the small darts, he had prepared, palming it. His will here was as strong as it had grown on Kesh, stronger even. The sources of loss and pain here were immense. It was easy to see just why the Sith enjoyed such fortune on the world. "Come now... Skye. So far away from help, so exposed. Can't you feel the desperation? The pain. A hospital full of innocents, crying for help, and no one to save them. Where is the cavalry? Oh... that's right. Off negotiating with Imperial Remnant to become their new foot soldiers?" Kern said mockingly to his old teacher. "I can feel them... the patients, all of them screaming in pain, they need relief, comfort, release. Their souls are in torment, eager to make any deal with death just to make the pain stop. I can help them, better then you, faster then you. I can give them relief, end their suffering, permanently." Kern said hungrily, the vocalizer disguising each utterance, knowing that each death would feed him all the more. "We really must catch up... how's the fam?" Kern said a with a sudden turn to the mundane with seemingly genuine concern.
  14. Death, destruction, violence. The gapping hole of destruction was visible as Kern's shuttle lowered into a tangle of chaos of traffic near the incident. This was where he belonged, in the middle of the maelstrom, at the center of fire and misery. Kern soaked in the destruction with glee as his specially trained soldiers looked on. "Well, this is just... neat." He said through the small vocalizer attached to his throat, as the shuttle rocketed towards his hunting grounds. No distractions... accomplish the task you came for... He stretched out with the force, feeling the presence of things and powers nearby. The planet like so many others was covered in life must of it was unwitting and weak...but there were others here as well, keeping their profile low, still they were there. His connection with the darkside clouded him from the Jedi, but he was certain they would be here. The darkside reigned now, in the dying hour, as the sun began to set... the twilight hour. Somewhere below in the depths of the planet, the worthless Fynn had died, excised for his weakness. Here is where Baron Kern was reborn. Sired by Lord Furion's darkness, fed by his own rage and hatred. There in the depths of the abyss, was Kern found and reformed. Kern was fired by the trials and battles on Kesh, each act of barbarism and violence moved him steadily towards mastery of the darkness from which he sprang. How fitting... poetic even. Today his emergence as a new Sith lord would be complete. He would smite his old master and any who stood in his way. The time was now here to prove himself worthy of the darkside which had given him an entire planet to rule, and begin his true ascent. "The hospital closest to the danger, that's the target," Kern mentioned to the pilot who nodded back. "Warriors of Kesh. Your service to your God will be proven today. Your place in immortality will be assured. Death is Life!" Kern said, his voice echoing with the darkside in their minds. He had waited so long for this moment. Now as it approached, he finally felt ready. "DEATH IS LIFE!" They screamed back, their every though focused on accomplishing Kern's will. Show no mercy... --- Sir... you can't go in there." Said a protesting medical droid. The hospital security was lax, the chaos of the days events had disrupted traffic, shift rotations, and no one was prepared to defend such a soft target from any sort of assault. Kern himself was resplendent in a tightly fitted dark tunic, clasped closed with silver buttons mined and worked by the finest artisans and slaves on Kesh, fastened a series of belts to his midsection. Very little armor was visible, unlike his overly dressed brethren. The look was complete with a small half cape, and the ancient crest of the House of Relmis, a knife protruding from a malformed skull on it’s main fastener, a symbol few would know. His disfigured face disguised of course with cowl and an angry lacquered battle mask that disguised the lower half of his face. His curled hair, now half grey because of his reliance on the dark side, was neatly kept. With the mask, one could make out his eyes, and the scar to his face was visible to those with a trained eye. Every move exuded pain, as the staples keeping his face intact were constantly shifting. His skin was pale, but his eyes alert, a fiery glow visible to all. The dozen Keshiri bristled in the unfamiliar environment, but Kern's resolute strength with the darkside kept them ready for the carnage and blood he was soon to ask of them. The Keshiri he brought with him were well trained, tall and fierce. Their angular features and greenish skin were offset by intense blue or white eyes. These were the champions of Kern's fighting pits, trained with blasters, hand to hand, and eager to show off their killing skills for their new god. "No, it's alright. Visiting hours don't end for another hour." Kern said casually, as he entered the emergency ward. "But you need a-" it continued to protest, but Kern reached out with the force and crushed it's central sensory input and auditory output node with a casual act of violence of the force. The droid crumpled to the ground in sparks. "Boring conversation anyways." Kern said aloud, as he turned to his guards. "Squad one, search the upper wards, kill any guards or anything that resists you." He instructed, '"What about looting?" Asked U'mbaro in a deep low rumble. The massive Keshiri warrior was armed to the teeth with a heavy blaster, large stone mace on his back, and heavy Sith foot soldier armor on his chest and arms. He was more tank then man. Keshiri liked to keep whatever goods they found on survivors. A warrior proved his kills and victories with trophies and trinkets. Kern found the practice boorish, but it proved a decent motivator. "Help yourself, but don't become distracted." He warned. The Keshiri unit armed with blasters and various brutal medieval weaponry, headed upwards with vigor. Killing and anyone armed they came across with eager prejudice. A Corsec security agent exited the lift in time for Kern's soldiers to blow several holes in his chest. He flew back a few feet and landed in a heap. Kern approached as the man's life began to leave his body. Using the force, he held the man's mind as he lay dying. "Jedi? Healer? What floor? Kern asked through the force, trying to pry any information the man had locked within his mind. He received nothing. Either the man had nothing to give or he tried to slip into death without giving anything up. Kern pressed harder, emptying the mans head scouring the last few minutes. Suddenly there it was. The image of a woman healing a fallen Twilek... but Kern couldn't see where. The force signature the woman had left however was distinct. In the vision the woman turned her face... it was- "Go!" Kern said loudly. "FIND THE JEDI!" Kern bellowed loudly, anger boiling over as the nearby mirrors and fragile items shattered. The second squad including L'thara began to go from room to room, brutally assaulting or killing anyone who might oppose them. There would be no mercy today. Opening the door to the emergency ward, the second squad scanned the room, nurses, doctors, wounded and dying people. Kern entered after. No great powers here, he could feel nothing... Was she was hiding? The second squad filed forwards grabbing anyone who looked like the description Kern had given, dragging them to the middle of the floor. The lead nurse tried to flee, but was slammed to the ground by L'thara who looked fiercely ready to eviscerate her. Kern waved her off and approached the woman. The bedraggled nurse looked at him with concern as he was flanked by two columns of armed Keshiri guards. The tall green skinned humanoids had angular faces and were dressed in an assortment of armor that made them difficult to identify. Kesh was a far flung unidentified world, and it's people weren't part of any database that would show up on Coruscant. "Who...What... what do you want? People- people are dying!" She said desperately. "That's what people do. They die. You've got to learn to let go." Kern said in a low rumbling reply, hauntingly imitating and mocking the way a Jedi might console the distraught. "Please! Were not part of this!", said a doctor who had begun to panic, as he recognized he was some sort of Sith. Other nurses and family members were shoved to the floor in a tight circle. Kern could feel the fear, the anguish, the pain. It all fed him, he drew power from their despair. --- In the wards above, the first squad was busy at work, securing each floor, killing any guard or armed professional they could find. Then they eagerly looted the bodies, taking weapons, jewelry, teeth, ears... the occasional finger as they cleared each floor. Injured combatants were left mostly alone, as the Keshiri found no honor in killing the wounded or unconscious. --- "Come now... I'm not going to kill you. I'm just looking for someone. A woman, likes to play at healing? Who here does not belong?" Kern inquired as he came close to the group. He looked them over, each one afraid for their lives, their collective anguish rising with each moment. Show yourself... A curious security guard opened the ward trying to figure out what was going on, Kern grabbed the man using the force, crushing his arms to his side and pulled him forward. Lifting him skyward Kern held him there as he struggled. A moment latter he slammed him to the ground with enough force to knock him senseless. The five or six gathered reacted in terror, as the man crumpled with a heap. The minor agitation dealt with Kern scanned the room again. Now the hostages gathered knew he meant business. "Good...no more interruptions. I believe I have your attention now. I will ask again where-" That's when he felt her. A very tiny signature close by. It was almost perfectly hidden but it was there, like a ghost from his inferior past. Two Keshiri approached the small crowd with weapons drawn, their loud guttural language indecipherable to most, angrily motioning to a few stragglers to join the others prostrating pitifully in front of Baron Kern. Hello... I know you're here... somewhere. He said, his mental voice carrying an odd serenity, as his mind crackled beneath with the searing heat of white hot hatred, waiting to be unleashed.
  15. L’thara slammed her fist into the large slab of muscle known as U’mbaro. The man groaned as the strike shoved him backwards several feet crashing him into a nearby column. The man raged, in pain, but refused to relent, realizing he was nearly out matched by the statuesque and powerful Keshiri woman. “Your dropping your guard to much U’mbaro, if you are going to have a chance against L’thara your going to have to-“ The man charged as he usually did, ignoring his advice. “Nevermind,” Kern said his attention elsewhere. Kern sat above his dueling guard, hunched over a laboratory table, deep at work. There were many things he had learned in his time on Kesh, the application of medicinal poisons was one of them. The Kesh had many plants that caused all sorts of pain. One plant the J’sin Flower, had an extreme effect on the central nervous system. Kern had learned from Morrigal how to extract it’s essence. He sat flanked by various fauna in his work. Venbraan approached his eyes fixed on the match below. His eyes however wandered occasionally to the table. “An interest in Botany sir? I never realized you were the greenery type” Venbraan said amused. “You would be surprised what things I’ve learned on Kesh. I’ve quite the red thumb.” Kern said eagerly. As he continued to mash the various collected ingredients. What he could accomplish with his new found resources was boundless. There were so many applications for Kesh’s flora and fauna, and he had only just begun to unlock them. "The traditional Keshiri shaman’s had a thousand years to find ways to extract vengeance on their enemies. It’s quite fortuitous being sent to that remote planet. We can learn so much from primitives.” Kern said as he held a vile of clear liquid up to the light. “Perfect.” He said satisfied with the nearly finished product. He took a small syringe and stabbed into his own side. “Sir?” Venbraan questioned, concerned with his master well-being. “No progress is made without a little pain my old friend. Worry not, the amount I need is minuscule. The experiments on Kesh were most fruitful. Now I just need the right test subject to finish my observations.” He removed a small amount of blood, and added it to the mix. Shaking the vile, it turned a sickly pale yellow. Using the force on a microscale, Kern separated the plasma and goaded the toxins into highly potent mix. Finally Kern added it to one of four small darts on a rack in front of the small table. “Interesting. Do you have anyone in mind to use it on?” Venbraan inquired. “Of course. You came on business?” Kern said pausing his work only momentarily. “An attack sir, on Coruscant. It devastated the Corsec Headquarters. Multiple civilian casualties, many injuries.” “Well finally some good news.” Kern said thinking aloud. “It couldn’t have happened at a better-“ Kern stopped in mid-sentence, a thought occurring to him. “Also, L’thara has been hunting the help. It wouldn’t be an issue except-” The man was troubled. His job was to keep order, and Kern was certain that L’thara was anything but when out of his control. “Yes, she does have trouble cleaning up after herself. Hmm… Injuries severe?” He queried, his mind going back to something he remembered a long time before. “Nothing a local doctor can’t treat, still-“ “No, no, on Coruscant?” Kern inquired, as he doused the last dart and placed them in a pouch on his belt. “Why, I do believe so… is that of interest to you?” His servant replied. Could it be that simple? “Not to me, but there is a chance-, with Corsec in shambles, the Jedi spread far and wide… there would be need for a healer. Wouldn’t there be? Someone to show how much the Jedi value Corsec and their allegiance. Show the flag as it were.“ Kern stopped again. “I suppose sir, but surely-“ “Venbraan, make ready my shuttle. I think I have some hunting of my own to do.” He said with an eager smile. --- “Listen, all of you. I’ve spent years giving you the benefit of my training and discipline”, Kern said aboard the shuttle Agamemnon. “I’ve come to think of you as my children. Dangerous, murderous, and severely dangerous children with a thirst for blood, but all mine.” Kern said proudly and ironically. The ship rose of the ground swiftly, making for high orbit in moments. “Make me proud. Or death will not be swift… I promise you.” Kern said as the ship rocketed into hyperspace.
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